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New research reveals COVID’s mind numbing impact on intelligence

Summarised by Centrist

“We’re all getting, unfortunately, a little less intelligent at a whole population level,” says epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. He’s responding to new research suggesting a steep decline in IQ scores among COVID infected individuals.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that even mild cases of COVID can result in deficits in memory retention, reasoning skills and cognitive planning.

Researchers at Imperial College London, examined the cognitive performance of approximately 113,000 individuals who had previously contracted the virus. Individuals who had experienced more severe COVID symptoms, requiring intensive care, exhibited an average decline of approximately nine IQ points. 

Losing seven IQ points equates to a ten-year ageing effect.

Individuals with persistent symptoms, often associated with long COVID, demonstrated an IQ decrease of around six points, impacting daily functioning. Even individuals who had recovered and were no longer symptomatic showed a slight decline in IQ scores, approximately three points lower than those who had never been infected. 

Baker describes the phenomenon of “brain fog” reported by many COVID patients, as a significant cognitive impairment affecting memory and complex thinking processes.

He notes that brain damage caused by COVID may be irreversible. 

Read more over at Newshub

Image: Rob Blatt

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